The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners

Abstract

Limited research examining the effect of taurine (TA) ingestion on human exercise performance exists. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acute ingestion of 1,000 mg of TA on maximal 3-km time trial (3KTT) performance in trained middle-distance runners (MDR). Eight male MDR (mean ± SD: age 19.9 ± 1.2 years, body mass 69.4 ± 6.6 kg, height 180.5 ± 7.5 cm, 800 m personal best time 121.0 ± 5.3 s) completed TA and placebo (PL) trials 1 week apart in a double-blind, randomised, crossover designed study. Participants consumed TA or PL in capsule form on arrival at the laboratory followed by a 2-h ingestion period. At the end of the ingestion period, participants commenced a maximal simulated 3KTT on a treadmill. Capillary blood lactate was measured pre- and post-3KTT. Expired gas, heart rate (HR), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and split times were measured at 500-m intervals during the 3KTT. Ingestion of TA significantly improved 3KTT performance (TA 646.6 ± 52.8 s and PL 658.5 ± 58.2 s) (p = 0.013) equating to a 1.7 % improvement (range 0.34–4.24 %). Relative oxygen uptake, HR, RPE and blood lactate did not differ between conditions (p = 0.803, 0.364, 0.760 and 0.302, respectively). Magnitude-based inference results assessing the likeliness of a beneficial influence of TA were 99.3 %. However, the mechanism responsible for this improved performance is unclear. TA’s potential influence on exercise metabolism may involve interaction with the muscle membrane, the coordination or the force production capability of involved muscles. Further research employing more invasive techniques may elucidate TA’s role in improving maximal endurance performance.

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Acknowledgments

Funding for the study was provided by the University of Cumbria. Special thanks go to Duncan Orme for his assistance during data collection sessions, and Chris McGlory and Professor Lars McNaughton for their critical evaluation of the manuscript during its preparation.

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Correspondence to Thomas G. Balshaw.

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Balshaw, T.G., Bampouras, T.M., Barry, T.J. et al. The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners. Amino Acids 44, 555–561 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-012-1372-1

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Keywords

  • Oxygen uptake
  • Ergogenic aids
  • Time trial
  • Endurance running